So, you’ve accepted the job and you’re ready for your new adventure in Korea! Congratulations! Your mind is likely swirling with questions about what is going to happen once you arrive and it can feel almost as if you are taking a giant leap of faith into the unknown. Feel safe in the knowledge that thousands upon thousands of people have traveled the road you are about to travel and in this post I’ll explain what’s going to happen and some things you should know about before arriving in Korea.
Note; you should probably read our “What To Pack” section for a list of must pack items before you set off!
1. Arriving at Incheon Airport – What Happens?
You’ll arrive in Korea at Incheon International Airport which is around 20 minutes outside of Seoul. If you have accepted a job through Say Kimchi Recruiting you will be met in the arrivals hall by our pick up agent who will have a sign with your name on it. He’ll take you to your new school where you’ll meet your new co workers and get settled into your apartment. We will give you your school’s contact details and contact details for your Say Kimchi representative should you run into any problems on arrival.
Fun fact; Incheon International Airport has been voted the world’s BEST AIRPORT for 9 years in a row!
2. Getting Settled; Things You Should Take Care of First
Once you are in your apartment and have slept off any jet lag, you’ll need to take care of a few things that will make your life much easier! The first thing is getting your health check completed which your school will help you arrange. The health check is so important because once you have it the school will apply for your Alien Resident Card (ARC) which is important because it allows you to…
- Get a cell phone
- Hook up internet
A cell phone and internet are really important to your life as an expat in Korea. The internet will allow you not only to talk to friends or family back home but to get involved in your cities Facebook groups for expats where you will keep abreast of what’s going on and be able to ask any questions which the local foreign community will be delighted to help you with.
A cell phone is a must have. Once you start to expand your social circle, you’ll need to keep in contact with your new friends and a cell phone is the best way to arrange meetings! Many foreigners who move to Korea say their lives never really got going in the country until they had a cell phone!
Top Tip: Search Facebook for “City Name + Expats” or “City Name + Teachers” to find what’s going on in your city.
3. The Long Haul; Take It Easy!
Many foreigners arrive in Korea with a sort of “bucket list” of places and sights they want to take in across the country. They start exploring the peninsula the very first weekend they arrive and wear themselves out very quickly. Korea is awesome and has great temples, beaches, mountains and other tourist attractions but a year is more than enough time to take them all in; you don’t need to rush to them all right away.
It’s better, in my experience, to get settled in your new city for the first few weeks and find your feet. Take a trip once every other weekend instead of every weekend. Focus on forming friendships and laying down roots in your new location because if you are out of town every weekend chances are the foreign community won’t have a clue who you are!
Veteran Tip: Visit some of the islands on the south coast for some breathtaking scenery and if you fancy a longer trip take in the “Hawaii of Korea” – Jeju Island!
All in all, just enjoy the adventure and try not to plan too much of it out. Once you are settled into your new apartment, have a cell phone and internet you are all set for life in Korea and ready to start making new friendships and exploring what the country has to offer.